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Boehlert, Browner Urge Journalists to Question the Presidential Candidates on Global Warming Plans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Sandretti, (202) 785-8683 or david_sandretti@lcv.org February 22, 2008  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Conservation Voters is pleased to announce that two LCV board members -- former House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY, and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner – are calling on journalists to question the presidential candidates on global warming. The two environmental leaders issued a letter to political reporters and enclosed a questionnaire for them to fill out regarding their approach to this pressing issue.

Previous LCV reports on how candidates responded -- or failed to respond -- to questionnaires about their environmental positions have generated widespread interest. LCV plans to issue a similar report on how journalists respond to the Media Questionnaire distributed by Boehlert and Browner.

LCV’s extensive monitoring of all the major TV talk shows and presidential debates has revealed an alarming omission during interviews with the presidential candidates. In 190 interviews and debates, TV’s top five political talk show hosts have asked only 8 questions about one of the greatest challenges of our time – global climate change.

In a letter sent to the nation’s top political reporters, Boehlert, a Republican, and Browner, a Democrat, called the presidential election the most critical in a generation due to “the pressing and potentially irreversible energy challenges we face.”

Citing a sobering statement by Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in which he said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late,” Boehlert and Browner said the media shares “the responsibility to help inform the public on how each candidate would meet this defining moment.”

“You have the privilege of serving as a conduit between the American people and their elected officials; the public depends on you to raise their concerns and press the candidates on the tough challenges facing the nation,” the letter says. “We recognize that the threat of global warming is something that concerns Republicans and Democrats alike. We want to clarify whether you share this concern and whether you will press the candidates on their positions.”

Attached to the letter is a short “yes-no” questionnaire for reporters to fill out and return to LCV, asking:

1. Do you believe that global warming is a top-tier priority for the next president and one of the most pressing issues facing the nation?

2. Do you believe that the presidential candidates should be asked tough questions about their global warming policies?

3. Will you ask the presidential candidates these four questions?
    a. What will you specifically do on the issue of global warming in your first 100 days?
    b. Will you call for a mandatory cap on emissions that achieves at least a 20 percent reduction in emissions by the end of the next decade?
    c. Will you push to auction all the pollution credits under a mandatory cap?
    d. Will you call for a major international summit on global warming in your initial months in office and work constructively on the adoption of a new international treaty?

The two officials acknowledged that global warming is certainly not the only issue of grave concern facing the nation. But along with the war in Iraq and economic concerns, energy and global warming deserve particular attention.

“We are pleased that Sherry Boehlert and Carol Browner are raising awareness among the media and challenging reporters to ask the presidential candidates about global warming,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “American voters need to determine which of the presidential candidates is best-equipped and most dedicated to confronting the biggest challenge of our generation.”

 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Conservation Voters is pleased to announce that two LCV board members -- former House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY, and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner – are calling on journalists to question the presidential candidates on global warming. The two environmental leaders issued a letter to political reporters and enclosed a questionnaire for them to fill out regarding their approach to this pressing issue.

Previous LCV reports on how candidates responded -- or failed to respond -- to questionnaires about their environmental positions have generated widespread interest. LCV plans to issue a similar report on how journalists respond to the Media Questionnaire distributed by Boehlert and Browner.

LCV’s extensive monitoring of all the major TV talk shows and presidential debates has revealed an alarming omission during interviews with the presidential candidates. In 190 interviews and debates, TV’s top five political talk show hosts have asked only 8 questions about one of the greatest challenges of our time – global climate change.

In a letter sent to the nation’s top political reporters, Boehlert, a Republican, and Browner, a Democrat, called the presidential election the most critical in a generation due to “the pressing and potentially irreversible energy challenges we face.”

Citing a sobering statement by Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in which he said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late,” Boehlert and Browner said the media shares “the responsibility to help inform the public on how each candidate would meet this defining moment.”

“You have the privilege of serving as a conduit between the American people and their elected officials; the public depends on you to raise their concerns and press the candidates on the tough challenges facing the nation,” the letter says. “We recognize that the threat of global warming is something that concerns Republicans and Democrats alike. We want to clarify whether you share this concern and whether you will press the candidates on their positions.”

Attached to the letter is a short “yes-no” questionnaire for reporters to fill out and return to LCV, asking:

1. Do you believe that global warming is a top-tier priority for the next president and one of the most pressing issues facing the nation?

2. Do you believe that the presidential candidates should be asked tough questions about their global warming policies?

3. Will you ask the presidential candidates these four questions?
    a. What will you specifically do on the issue of global warming in your first 100 days?
    b. Will you call for a mandatory cap on emissions that achieves at least a 20 percent reduction in emissions by the end of the next decade?
    c. Will you push to auction all the pollution credits under a mandatory cap?
    d. Will you call for a major international summit on global warming in your initial months in office and work constructively on the adoption of a new international treaty?

The two officials acknowledged that global warming is certainly not the only issue of grave concern facing the nation. But along with the war in Iraq and economic concerns, energy and global warming deserve particular attention.

“We are pleased that Sherry Boehlert and Carol Browner are raising awareness among the media and challenging reporters to ask the presidential candidates about global warming,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “American voters need to determine which of the presidential candidates is best-equipped and most dedicated to confronting the biggest challenge of our generation.”

 
# # #
LCV, the nation’s independent voice for the environment, engages in public education, lobbying and accountability to turn environmental values into public policy.  LCV has made global warming and America’s energy future a central focus of its activities in Congress and in the 2008 election cycle.

 

 
 



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